Undiscovered Zone

Undiscovered: The Jjohns

 

 

 

Promising young Liverpool four-piece The Jjohns drop their debut single for the Modern Sky UK label, “Sewn” which should bring them much attention and praise. Some say they sound like The La’s, and they have had comparisons to The Coral, Oasis and another bunch of Scousers who were doing their mop top thing way before any of this lot were born.

We think they sound like The Jjohns and a bunch of cheeky chappies from Merseyside having fun and making a very decent noise. Sound as a pound these lads…There’s perhaps a bit of a nod to The Undertones with the single – with regards to the vibrato and attitude of the vocal and the raw energy and power of the guitars. That’s a positive for us.

The Jjohns are the latest signing of Modern Sky UK, the new label that introduced the world to The Blinders, Catholic Action, The Slow Readers Club and more.  The Jjohns deliver hooky melodic guitar pop. The three Dunning brothers are Dom on lead vocals and guitar, Mik on backing vocals and guitar, and Bernie on bass, along with their bezzie Sam Burkett on drums.  

Coming from County Road, in the city’s borough of Walton, the band may have come from humble beginnings but they won’t be forgetting their roots any time soon. Outlining their ambitions for the band, frontman Dom Dunning says The Jjohns want to be: “Harmonic, homegrown, but most importantly – a band who write inspiring melodies singing about, what we know, where we live, and who we love.”

They more than held their own supporting Circa Waves, Trampolene, Paris Youth Foundation and Jordan Allen. Following their head-turning festival debut at Liverpool Sound City this year, The Jjohns landed their record deal with Modern Sky UK. They have done their city and themselves proud this summer with a clutch of festival appearances  – including a storming set at Y-Not Festival 2018). In September, they have a headline show booked in at Manchester’s top indie venue Jimmy’s, on 14th.

The single “Sewn” is inspired by a Fleetwood Mac listening binge while the band were out on a tour of the Netherlands last year. Speaking about the track, frontman Dom Dunning says: “Writing “Sewn” was motivated by our band’s trip to Eindhoven last year. We had the Fleetwood Mac greatest hits on loop and a song that Mik showed me instantly hit me.

“I felt great… I always write in the notion of trying to create my own version of a particular song or melody, and that was the case with “Sewn”. We got home from the trip and straight away me and Mik picked up the guitars and the magic happened. I always had the hook lines, “you got me bad, got me Sewn girl” for a while, and managed to fit it into the end of that song.”

Fans of R.E.M.’s earlier days may even detect a knowing lyrical wink to one of the classic IRS years singles in the closing bars of “Sewn”. Recorded at the legendary Sugarhouse in St Helens, “Sewn” was produced by Ady Hall and Lee McCarthy.

Signing with Modern Sky UK for a few singles (of which “Sewn” arrives as the first), plus the promise of their debut EP slated for release at the end of this summer, we will be hearing a lot more from these boys and they have a bright future once the stars align and they and their label have all their ducks in a row. (What the eff does that even mean?) They are bloody good, so check ’em out. That’s clearer, eh!

 

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“UNDISCOVERED ZONE”…………….
Q & A: The JJohns

     

    • Who is in the band and what do they do/play?
    Dominic Dunning: Guitar + Vocals
    Michael Dunning: Guitar + Vocals
    Bernard Dunning: Bass
    Sam Burkett: Drums
    • Oldest and youngest – and ages please?
    Bernard is the youngest @ 20 and Michael is the oldest @ 26
    • Where and when was the band formed? How did you meet? Where are you all based now?
    Me and Michael formed the band In May 2015 after we started writing our own original songs. There’s three brothers and we met Sam through our old bass player, who
    recommended him after our first drummer left.
    • What day jobs has each member had?
    Delivering parcels for me (Dominic), Michael is a school teacher, Bernard is at Uni’ and Sam is a care worker.
    • Who writes the songs?
    Dominic
    • What recordings have been released so far? Singles / EPs / albums. Titles, format, release date and if not self-releases for previous recordings, which record label? Details of imminent releases too please?
    3 Songs out on Spotify: “So Alone”, “Lucy” and “Sewn”.
    We recorded an EP two years ago, but withdrew it because of the recording quality.
    New song called “Out Of My Head” will be released very soon.
    • First public performance? When and where, how many people there? How did it go? Any funny or dramatic stories from that gig?
    Our first gig was Eric’s Bar on Matthew Street in Liverpool and it was packed.
    All our mates, family, friends piled in. It’s the element of it being new, isnt it? People go, “oh, you’re in a band”, and just that curiosity alone gets people to
    gigs. Since then, I know its cliché, but we are much better and tighter now.
    • How many shows has this band done so far, and where (list of countries, or if not played outside of UK yet, the towns and cities).
    I honestly couldn’t give an exact number. Say over 100. We played Glasgow, Wales and The Netherlands.
    •   Strangest gig you have done? Also, your best gig?
    We did a gig in some ‘Weed den’. The audience were high, but we still managed to get them clapping! The place is shut down now after the police raided it.
    Our best gig for me was the Y Not Festival last month. Mainly because the whole occasion was great – camping out, drinking and watching other bands. I’d go to Y Not even if I wasn’t in a band to be honest; that’s how good it was.
    • Main influences of the band? Can split this to one for each member or collectively as a band.
    Sam the drummer loves heavy metal. I love my Blues. Mike loves the modern Indie bands. Bernard the younges,t usually listens to what I play.
    • Bullet points of the band’s music career/achievements to-date?
    • Formed 2015
    • First EP released: “Stone Across My Cave”
    • First gig @ Eric’s
    • We were a five-piece band, but let the lead guitarist go.
    • Best moment in music so far?
    Undercarding Circa Waves
    • Do you guys want to be famous? Do you think you will be?
    I believe we’ll make it. The idea of fame does not bother me at all.  What I want is my songs to be heard and sung around the world. I suppose that would be some sort of fame then wouldn’t it?
    • What is the dream for your band and your music?
    To get a number 1 single and then a number one album – and then more!
    • How do you describe your music style to a stranger who asks: “what kind of music does your band play”?
    Loud, raucous, honest, melodic, real and straight from the soul…
    • What do you want your music to say about you?
    To reflect how I feel. There’s no better feeling than writing and singing your own lyrics in front of fans who come to enjoy it. We are Rock and Roll man, I know
    we are! People can say what they like about us: Good, shite etc and I won’t be interested in it. I’m doing it because I enjoy it. If people enjoy it with me, then great.
    Lets all get pissed and be happy!!
    • Who is the joker in the band?
    I’d go with me for that.  Mik tries to keep things grounded and sane. Our Bernie, the youngest is funny and Sam just likes to laugh at people’s misfortune; in a strange baleful way.
    • Who needs to be centre of attention?
    No one. Boring answer, but there’s no big egos in the band. We’re all pretty chilled.
    • Who is the bossy one?
    Mik – The oldest brother and he tells everyone what to do. And if you don’t do it, basically he’ll knock you the f**k out!
    • Who hogs the mirror in the dressing room?
    Sam the drummer is a vain bastard. He won’t let us post a picture if he doesn’t look quintessentially perfect on it.
    • Who is always late?
    Me to be fair. They are all in the car before I’ve even got my shoes on, or guitar ready!
    • Who are you guys listening to right now; bands/artists?
    Jackson C Frank, The Band, 2 Pac. I listen to Robert Johnson every day. His guitar playing just blows me away. My Mate Chas has a band called Ladies, who are also from Liverpool. Listen to “Sometimes You Just Gotta Lose” on Spotify. Song of the year for me.
    • Choose one album each that you could not live without if you were stuck on a desert island?
    Bern:  Beatles – The White Album
    Mike: Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
    Sam:  Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Dom:  BB King – Live At The Regal
    • Who would be your dream collaboration; naming one living and one deceased band or artist to record with or to perform on stage with?
    Peter Green or Eric Clapton. My hero is Peter Green – his vibrato Is just ridiculous.
    • Best compliment you have read or heard about your band and your music so far?
    I was told I sound like a cross between John Lydon, Lee Mavers (The La’s) and Liam Gallagher in one article. They are three singers I adore. I need to get the guy who wrote that, a pint. Also a lot of reviews say we sound like The La’s – and I’m happy to oblige that notion. I love the La’s and if we come across sounding anything like them, I’m happy.
    • A: X Factor, B: The Voice, C: Britain’s Got Talent, D: Gouge your own eyes out with a rusty spoon? Choose A, B, C or D!
    Naa… Its not cool to like any of them. I can’t stand X Factor. Britain’s Got Talent is another freak show. I suppose The Voice just gets to the point, so I;d have to go with
    I’d go with The Voice. So, my answer is ‘B’.

     

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